Liverpool are reportedly keen on securing a late move for Ozan Kabak, and are in talks with Schalke over a loan deal for the Turkish defender.
According to Sky Germany journalist Max Bielefeld, Liverpool seem to have reignited their interest in Ozan Kabak. The Premier League champions are in talks with Bundesliga outfit Schalke over a deal that would see them land the Turkish centre-back on loan while also reserving the option to sign him permanently in the summer.
Sky sources: Liverpool is trying to get a deal done for Ozan Kabak until the deadline. Talks ongoing about a loan plus option to buy. But: @S04 need a replacement and deadline in Germany is at 5pm UK time. Will be difficult to get it done #DeadlineDay @Sky_Marc @Sky_Dirk pic.twitter.com/P03mCBt7Jb
— Max Bielefeld (@Sky_MaxB) February 1, 2021
Kabak joined Schalke from VfB Stuttgart in the summer of 2019 and has since endured a roller-coaster of a ride at the Bundesliga club since then. With the Royal Blues experiencing a turbulent season, the young defender has blown hot and cold this term while also being unimpressive with his temperamental issues.
However, despite the chinks in his armour, Kabak’s stock remains quite high. Over the past couple of months, the 20-year-old, who has amassed 42 appearances till date at Schalke, has been linked with a bevy of top clubs across Europe. Chief among the chasing pack have been Premier League champions Liverpool.
For several weeks leading up to the January transfer window, Liverpool put up a defiant front when it came to possibly signing a centre-back, despite the long-term absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. However, Jurgen Klopp and the Reds were recently forced to let go of their resistance and scour for emergency transfer options, owing to recent developments in the first-team squad.
Joel Matip, who has been bothered by a spate of injuries in the last 18 months or so, is currently sidelined with an ankle complaint. In addition, Fabinho, who has been phenomenal as a makeshift centre-back, is also out with an injury, leaving Klopp with Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams and another makeshift centre-back in Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson at his disposal.
These aforementioned options would hardly fill the Liverpool manager in with confidence for the remainder of the season. And so, the Merseyside giants have stepped up their efforts to sign a centre-back in time before Monday’s deadline, with a deal for Preston North End centre-back Ben Davies reported to have been agreed.
However, it seems as if Davies might not be the only central defender making his way to Anfield, with the Reds now in talks with Schalke to secure a late move for Kabak. Liverpool have offered to sign Kabak on loan while also reserving an option to land him permanently in the summer.
Having said that, a move might be a tad bit complicated to push through, as Schalke might not have enough time to sign a replacement. With the market in Germany set to slam shut shortly, it will be interesting to see if Liverpool can get the deal over the line in time. If not, it will be interesting to see who they turn their attention towards, if they do wish to sign a second centre-back.
Schalke do have replacement options in mind, though, with Fussball Transfers reporting that they have set their sights on Shkodran Mustafi as a possible replacement for the Turkish international. Arsenal are open to parting ways with the German defender in the ongoing window.
Mustafi has seen his role at Arsenal being reduced considerably this season, with the likes of David Luiz, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes and Pablo Mari all ahead of him in the pecking order. Having become a peripheral figure at the Emirates, it has been suggested that the German could be on his way out of the club in the winter window.
To that end, even Liverpool have been linked with a move for Mustafi, but it now seems as if he could be helping the Premier League champions in some other way, as Schalke have set their sights on him. If the Bundesliga outfit can indeed land the Arsenal outcast, it could pave the way for Liverpool to land Kabak.
It now remains to be seen if Schalke can indeed swoop Mustafi away from Arsenal in the dying hours of the winter window. If so, we could well see Kabak make his way to Liverpool as a deadline day signing.